Walk in Silence 3

This is where the Infamous War Novel came in handy.

I’d tried writing and rewriting the damn thing for over a year, between school, family events and hanging out with friends, and after multiple failed attempts, I stumbled upon a brilliant idea — outlining!  Okay, I already knew about outlining thanks to my English classes, but bear with me for a moment here.

You see, in September of 1984, a new TV show premiered that changed the way audiences watched television, specifically action-heavy shows like police dramas.  Michael Mann’s Miami Vice was a game-changer for a lot of reasons, and not just because of the flashy clothes and the hot sports cars.  This was a show with gritty violence, dark storylines, subplots focusing on deeply personal issues…and one hell of a great soundtrack to go along with it all.

It’s par for the course now, but back then, putting a pop song in the background of a scene to amplify the dramatic nuances was a completely new thing for television.  Whole scenes would go by with little or no dialogue but tell a gripping story just the same.  The “Brother’s Keeper” episode in which Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” drives the entire scene is a key example of this.

I grokked to this linking of sound and image straight away, and went about reverse-engineering it to see how it could be used for the IWN.  What I came up with was a synergy of music and ideas, all linked by the main plot.  I already had a handful of songs in the back of my head that would inspire the scenes, having tested a few scenes early on just to see if I could do it.  I understood how three-act plot arcs worked, even if I hadn’t quite perfected it.  I put the two together, and made a playlist of songs and ideas that would create a story with flow, conflict and closure.  Thus Caught in the Game, the final version of the IWN was born.

The writing of the IWN helped get rid of some of that personal boredom, but it wasn’t enough to keep me from ditraction.  I think the reason why I was feeling this way was because, by the start of 1985, I was really itching to change myself.  I was finishing off my not-so-fantastic run of eighth grade, where I’d earned my one failing grade one semester. [In English, ironically enough.  I wasn’t doing any of the homework and rarely paid attention in class.  Again, it wasn’t that I was heading down a bad road, it was that I was completely fucking bored most of the time.]


I remember one of the last dances they had for the end of the school year, everyone had semi-dressed up, and the deejay played all the latest hits.  They played Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, and, strangely enough, USA for Africa’s “We Are the World”.  Then they threw on Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”, and all hell broke loose.  The Breakfast Club had just come out not that long before, and despite its R rating, I and everyone else in my class had gone to see it and deemed it the most awesome movie of all time.  That movie spoke to each and every one of us that year, and life made a little bit more sense because of it.

I remember feeling a sense of finality during those last few weeks of eighth grade.  A bunch of us were so excited to be heading up to high school.  We felt it was the turning point where we were finally escaping our childhood and moving on to bigger and better things.  The last four years of our primary education were in our sights; we could see that 1989 wasn’t a decade away, but just a short handful of years.

Musically, that’s when I’d made a decision to broaden my horizons.  I still loved listening to the early MTV years and the current run of pop and rock, but what seemed really far out and cool in 1982 now seemed a bit old hat, maybe a bit cheesy.  The synthetic sounds of new wave were wearing a bit thin, didn’t hold the shine and gloss it once gave.  There was more out there  — we knew there was more out there, just out of our grasp.  The pop stations were not evolving as frequently as they once did.  MTV was now firmly ensconced in their own brand of pop sheen and easily digestible hair metal.  Rock stations, while doing their best to stay current, were starting to morph into classic rock or hard rock stations, leaving the middle ground behind.  It was all about the instant gratification now.

That’s not to say I stopped listening to it.  I was still a fan of American Top 40 and still recorded my favorite songs off the radio.  In retrospect it’s hard to argue that there were a hell of a lot of great songs that came out in 1985.  I had at least a dozen or so ‘radio tapes’ of pop songs made by 1985 and would create at least a few dozen more up until 1987.  I even catalogued them on a well-worn steno notebook that I saved for years.*  And as much as I loved it, it was still lacking.  I wanted something a little more adventurous.

Cue the new generation of alternate programming: AOR.

Album Oriented Rock.  Not quite free-form, as that did not really exist as a viable programming format anymore.   AOR was its commercial cousin, the station that didn’t have a completely strict and narrow playlist, gave the deejays some freedom to choose a few songs during their shift, and most importantly, dug much deeper into a band’s discography.  One would be more inclined to hear Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying” instead of “Fool in the Rain” for the umpteenth time.

More to the point, sometimes you wouldn’t even hear pop or rock at all; some days you’d hear the recent generation of folk singers or Dylan’s latest iteration; something blues from Eric Clapton or Joan Armatrading.  You’d hear deep tracks from bands as disparate as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Camper Van Beethoven, and Graham Parker.  AOR appealed to me in an interesting way; it kind of felt like ‘grown up music’, the stuff you listen to after you’ve grown out of top 40 pop.  Or in other words, it was the stuff you listened to if you really wanted to be a serious music listener.

* – As you may well have guessed, I have since taken the track listing of nearly all these radio tapes and created mp3 mixes of them, using my digital collection.

Walk in Silence 2

We all go through that weird phase when we’re kids — you know the one, where we get that feeling that we don’t quite fit in, that we’re scared of our own individuality, even more scared of having it seen by others who are quick to judge us.  We do our best to fit in the best we can, in our own ways, to varying levels of success.  Some of us easily fit in anywhere and with anyone, we have a healthy sense of being in charge of ourselves.  Others don’t worry about it and take everything as it comes.  And some of us are all too aware of who we might be, but can’t quite find a niche to place ourselves in.

I’d say I was the third case, because from a relatively early age — probably first grade, come to think of it — I was aware that I wasn’t quite on the level with the other kids in my class.  Intellectually I was probably a year ahead (and I don’t mean that in an egotistical way — in retrospect I feel I should have been a year ahead, for reasons I’ll get into later).  Socially, maybe on the same level, maybe a few leagues behind.  There was also the name recognition — I was the son of a well-known local historian and reporter with three older sisters, so I already had an expectation to live up to.  I also joked that I could never get away with anything growing up, because my parents would find out before I even got home.  [This actually happened a few times in my teens.  News travels fast in a small town.]  So there I was, mid-80s, feeling just that bit out of place — getting along with almost anyone, irritating some and annoying others, a do-gooder that couldn’t get away with anything, an average-grade student who was expected to be better, who was easily influenced for good or ill, out of boredom and impatience.

Still, that didn’t stop me from being the go-to person when someone needed to talk music.  I still went to all the school dances and moved around on the floor like a total idiot to my favorite songs, and completely failed to get any slow dances (mostly my own damn fault for not asking in the first place).

So with that, and with a few years’ worth of MTV and radio in my brain, I was ready and rearing to go.  I started listening to American Top 40 on a frequent basis, taping songs onto ‘radio tapes’ that I could listen to at a later time.

Socially, I wasn’t quite sure where the hell I was, to be honest.  I floated from one group to another over the years.  Like most people, The kids I hung with in elementary school had long ago moved on.  New friendships upon hitting fifth grade and a new school, where I met up with other kids from different neighborhoods.  Then junior high (seventh and eighth grade) with even more new faces.

It was in seventh grade that I met up with one of my buddies that I’d spend the next few  years hanging with.  Kevin was a kid from Royalston, the small town north of us that we shared upper grades with.  He and I met basically because we were often one right after the other in homeroom and other classes.  We were both music nerds and, well, nerds in general, so we got on swimmingly.  We were both well-read in the MTV department and knew most of the popular songs out there in the mid-80s.

There were two other people I met that year that would leave an impression on me as well.  One was Scott, who I knew tangentially through a kid named Bobby who lived around the corner from us when I was younger.  Scott and I kind of knew each other in sixth grade through band, but by the next year we were hanging out now and again.  H ewas the one who decided we should become writers, and set about stealing random sheets of lined paper from the front of the class so we would write our stories.  It was during this time that I’d come up with a ‘what if there was a war in my home town’ story — started right about the same time Red Dawn came out, but actually inspired by the ongoing Cold War news of the day.*  Out of those study-hall writing sessions came what would eventually be called Caught in the Game, and more recently referred to as the Infamous War Novel — I’ll be referring to it as the IWN from here on in.

The third person was actually someone a grade ahead of me — Chris, who I quickly found was interested in music almost to the obsessive level I was.  We had no classes together, but we shared a couple of study halls and also helped with the junior high newspaper (such as it was).  He also had a hankering for the occasional story telling, writing one or two short stories that I still have in my files.  But as he was a year ahead, he’d vanish out of my sight for a couple of years until a fateful meet-up in early 1986.**


But…that’s pretty much my entire life up to that point.  Not muc to mention other than some good friends, and not much else to report in this small town of mine.  Hang out with the last few remaining kids from the neighborhood, that’s pretty much it.***  In a small town of about ten thousand people and nearly ten times as many trees, one made do with whatever was on hand back in those days.

By 1985, however, I was getting itchy.  At fourteen, I was at that age where I felt I had to start moving on.  I’d grown out of the immature humor and the friendly roughhousing. I was starting to lose interest in the subjects I had to focus on.  At first it was thought it might have been eyesight and a need for glasses (slightly clearer vision, but no real improvement), and then suggested maybe it was just immaturity and too much focus on frivolous things.  No one in the area had any idea what ADHD was, so that wasn’t even brought up.  It wasn’t until a few years into my high school years that it wasn’t any of this — it was a much simpler issue.

I was bored.

Added to the fact that I was seen as a student of intellect when I was younger, why was I slacking off now?  It was because I was confined.  I didn’t figure it out right away, but I knew something was there.  I was smart, I just hated to be confined to an education track that was too slow for me.  Why did I not say anything at the time?  Well, even that was confining.  Expectations, really.  As a kid I was all too willing to do what was expected of me.  Call it Catholic guilt, call it not wanting to rock the boat.  There were all sorts of rasons.

But really — it was all becoming old hat.  Stuck being the goody two shoes out of honor and expectation.  Wanting to strike out and doing something completely unique and unexpected of me.

But what?


* – This story was also inspired by the Cold War-themed music out there at the time.  Music was a huge inspiration for my writing even then.  My writing attempts actually started earlier, around 1980 or so, with at least a dozen ideas that were fleshed out in my head but never expanded upon.

** – I should also mention that Chris and I are related distantly, which was part of our impetus for meeting.  I’m not entirely sure of the connection, but I believe his grandfather and my grandfather were cousins or something like that.

*** – I was one of the youngest kids in the neighborhood growing up, so I was usually the annoying tag-along kid brother.

Being There


I was thinking the other day about how all our musical heroes, however big or small, have passed away in the last few months…Prince, Bowie, Lemmy, Maurice White, etc…and even in the past few decades, like Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson, George Harrison, and so on.  It’s sad and it bothers us when they leave our realm.

At the same time, however, I started thinking just how incredibly lucky I am to have been there when they were huge.

So many important composers and songwriters over the centuries, performers and writers whose fame while they were alive took place well before we or even our grandparents were born.  Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Tchaikovsky, and so on.

One can only wonder what it was like to hear their most famous pieces when they premiered.  Pieces that are still known to us centuries later.

Me, I was born the year after the Beatles broke up so I never experience their chaotic live shows or the unveiling of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and Sgt Pepper to a gobsmacked audience.  Or hearing “Hey Jude” the day it came out.  The closest I ever got was hearing “Free As a Bird” and “Real Love” as new songs during their Anthology documentary in 1995.

And yet…being a teenager in the 80s, I was there when MTV arrived.  I remember seeing the relatively new video for Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes” and being floored by the nightmarish visuals.  Or the incredible hype behind the then unheard-of fifteen minute video for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.  Or the unveiling of multiple charity songs in the mid 80s: Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas”, USA for Africa’s “We Are the World”, Artists United Against Apartheid’s “Sun City”…hell, even Hear ‘n Aid’s “Stars”.  All those Big Famous Names in one room!

I was at college in Boston in the early 90s when grunge and Britpop were insanely huge, and got to see Radiohead’s very first US show on Lansdowne Street.  I got to meet Robyn Hitchcock during a college radio presser.  During my HMV years I got to go to a few meet n’ greets with various bands, and got to see many more live.  And I met a few musicians in the store itself.  And over the last few years my wife and I have been going to Outside Lands, where we’ve seen a ridiculous amount of great bands.  This year’s line-up plans to be absolutely amazing.


Do I feel sorrow when my favorite musicians pass away?  I suppose in a way I do…I’ve never been one to completely fall apart, and there is that quite sobering realization that this musician won’t be around anymore to write or record anything else.  Their oeuvre has a finite end, and we fans are loath to admit that will ever happen.

I feel absolutely blessed that I live in a time where I’ve been entertained by so many creative minds in the last thirty-plus years.  Absolutely fucking blessed.  These are the creators that have inspired me, entertained me, and made my life that much happier.

So to all the musicians living or passing in 2016:  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Walk In Silence 1

I’d say the music that I connected to most at the time was classic rock.  I’d grown up listening to it, and started my music collection with the Beatles.  Not to say I didn’t enjoy other genres or station programming…I had a passing interest in the poppier Top 40 sounds, especially from about 1983 onwards, when it updated its sound and included multiple genres.  But thanks mainly to WAQY 102.1 FM out of East Longmeadow and WAAF 107.3, originally out of Worcester, I found myself listening to a lot of classic and AOR rock.

Looking back, I think part of it may be due to the quality of the production and the creativity of the music.  It didn’t necessarily need to be a genius creation, it just had to have something that caught my attention somehow.

That would mean John Bonham’s thunderous drums and John Paul Jones’ synth strings on the epic “Kashmir” — the first rock song to completely blow my mind — or the Beatlesque* sounds of Electric Light Orchestra’s “Can’t Get It Out of My Head”.  Or it could be the countrified twang of Eagles.  Even the bubblegum fun of Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz” and “Fox On the Run” counted, thanks to their catchy guitar riffs and high-pitched harmonies.


I often say The Beatles’ 1967-1970 compilation is ‘officially’ the first album I ever owned, but that’s not entirely true.  I will admit that claim actually belongs to Shaun Cassidy’s Born Late, which I’d gotten for Christmas in 1977.  I kind of consider that a trial run, though…in December of 1977 my music collection was pretty much a reflection of what I thought album collecting was about at the time: pop music and buying whatever was popular at the time.  Why did I have my mom buy that Shaun Cassidy album?  Who knows.  I think it was because he was one of the Hardy Boys on TV at the time, and he was all over the covers of teen magazines at the time.  David’s little brother, also a musician and an actor and a heartthrob!  Buy it now!  Hell, I was six years old at the time, I didn’t know any better.  I didn’t even know I was breaking a perceived gender role at the time by liking a young pop star’s music.  My parents may have side-eyed me (more on the quality of the music than the gender role, that is), but I didn’t care.  Even then it was about the music.

All that changed in 1978, when two things happened.

First, the much maligned movie Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, featuring the insanely popular Bee Gees (another favorite band, thanks again to an older sister) and Peter Frampton (a huge pull, thanks to the fantastic Frampton Comes Alive album and his mindblowing use of the talkbox guitar effects on “Do You Feel Like We Do”).  I originally went because I liked the singers, but my mom had hinted that I’d enjoy the songs they’d be singing here.  It’s painful to watch now, but at the time it was silly and a lot of fun.

Second, I was made aware of an annual tradition on WLVI, channel 56 (6 on our dial), one of Metro Boston’s independent television stations (decades before it became an affiliate of The CW).  On a summery Sunday afternoon they’d play Yellow Submarine, the 1968 animated Beatles movie.

I knew the Beatles in passing, of course.  In the 70s, who didn’t?  They’d only broken up a few short years before and were enjoying healthy solo careers at that point (especially Paul McCartney).  Their music was still getting heavy rotation on the radio at the time.

[I should probably interrupt here and state that there was a third event that took place in 1978 that changed everything, even though I wasn’t quite aware of it at the time.  That event is the overwhelming change in radio listening habits in the United States.  It was this year when people began listening to music on the FM dial rather than on AM.  There are many and varied reasons for it — the acceptance of rock radio as a valid genre rather than an underground interest, and even the fact that home stereos were becoming more affordable.  By the time 1978 rolled around, we’d had a stereo in my parents’ bedroom that as soon moved to my sisters’ bedroom, where it got much higher use.  I ended up with a cheap hand-me-down kids’ record player where even to this day, I can still remember the loud nasally wrhirrrrrrrr of the motor.  I’d get the old stereo when my sisters upgraded, and finally getting my own sometime around 1983.]

So yes, it was in 1978 when I finally, officially, owned my first record, and also picked up on my first musical obsession.  Over the next four or five years, I searched and found all the Beatles-related records I could find.  Some of the albums I purchased were new (usually bought at Mars Bargainland, the department store outside of town), but many were found used at garage sales, town fairs and elsewhere.  First came the albums, then came the singles.  I believe I got Sgt Pepper and Abbey Road early on, because I was already familiar with most of those songs from the Sgt Pepper movie.  Revolver was another early one, thanks to familiarity with some of its tracks as well.  Imagine an eight-year-old  hearing “Tomorrow Never Knows” for the first time — I had no idea what I was listening to, but it certainly was amazing!


I’m explaining all this, even though it has nothing to do with college radio, because this early obsession is a major reason why I latched onto it as closely as I did.

Even as the pop music of the seventies and eighties slowly morphed from one genre or style to another, I found myself irrevocably obsessed over it all.  I knew bands and their discographies almost as well as other kids my age might know who played on what NFL team and for how long.  Their stats were performance ratings and signature moves; my stats were release dates and what labels released them.


* – Beatlesque: usually means evoking psychedelic melodies of 1967, dreamlike whimsy, three-part harmony, and often attempting to sound like something from either Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or Abbey Road.

Walk in Silence 0


I’ve been listening to college radio and alternative rock for thirty years as of this week.

Currently, I’m kind of cheating and switching between the XMU station on SiriusXM, RadioBDC, and a host of college stations via their streaming feed, but the point remains — the singer here (Paul Westerberg at his alcoholic best/worst on Let It Be) is barely making it through the song without stumbling.  You can hear the liquor in his voice.  It’s a classic song of generational discontent, as Wikipedia points out.  I heard the same thing back then, in my bedroom, late at night, and I felt the same thing: who the hell let him close to the mike?

But truly, that was exactly what endeared me to the alternative rock genre, and still does to this day.  The fact that studio time was given to a musician of middling proficiency and questionable talent amused me then, and impresses me now.  Well — at this point, anyone with a laptop, a few microphones and some cheap recording and mixing software can lay down their own music.  And thanks to the internet, they no longer need to jockey for position at the local radio station or bar; they can upload their latest song on Bandcamp hours after making the final mix, and let their small tribe of listeners know it’s out there.

There’s a lot of excellent indie rock out there if one chooses to actively look for it.  Some listeners like myself spend far too much time and money on it, but we love it just the same.  Again with the internet: many college stations stream their shows on their website, so someone like myself, now living in San Francisco, just over a mile from the Pacific Ocean and a view of the Golden Gate Bridge just outside my window, can listen to the broadcast of Boston College’s WZBC.

The only thing missing, in my mind, is having a blank cassette at the ready, in case one of my favorite songs comes on.

That’s one of the original facets of alternative/indie rock, really…the ability to look in the face of popular culture and loudly and proudly profess that you’re not going to play that game, at least not by those rules anyway.  One of the whole points of the genre, harking back to the original UK punk wave of the late 70s (and much further back, depending on which rock genre you’re thinking about), was to make sounds under one’s own rules.

It was about a certain style of anarchy –a personal anarchy, wherein one fully embraces who they are and what they want to be, where one stops trying to fit in where they obviously don’t belong, where they find their own path without outside influence.  Be what you want to be, and fuck ’em if they can’t deal with it.


Every music fan has that story:  where did you first hear that new song, that favorite band, discover that new genre?  Every fan has a story where they heard a song or found a new radio station or a new genre for the first time where it just clicks: YES!  This is the thing that has pierced my soul, has connected with me in such a deeply personal way that I will never hear it the same way again!

Okay, maybe not in so many words: often it starts out with a distraction.  Yeah, I kind of dig this track.  It makes you stop and notice it.  You may not know exactly why just yet, but you’re not going to dwell on that right now.  But its primary job has been fulfilled: it’s gotten your attention.  You may be intrigued for the moment but forget it a half hour later, or it may stay with you for much longer, so much that you’ll end up looking for it the next time you’re at the local music shop.

Or, if you were like me in the middle of the 80s, you’d have a small ever-circulating pile of half-used blank tapes near your tape deck, and if you liked the song that much, you’d slam down the play and record buttons and let ‘er rip.

This is the story of how I got from there to here.


 Let me start with this: I was part of the inaugural MTV generation.  I was ten going on eleven.  I remember when I first saw the channel when it was offered on our newly-minted Time Warner Cable system, the first cable service in my hometown.  I remember the beige-colored box with the light brown label on top, listening all the channels we’d be getting.  I remember seeing MTV for the first time.  [For the record: my first MTV video was .38 Special’s “Hold On Loosely”.]  And most of all, I remember it was channel 24.  Even before we got cable, I’d already made plans to park my butt in front of the television and soak in the musical goodness.  Any music I heard from about 1982 onwards was considered Something Awesome in my book, especially if it had a video.  But even if it didn’t, that one network opened up something within me that turned music from a passing interest into an obsession.

Around the same time, I had pilfered the radio that had been gathering dust in the kitchen (an old model I believe must have been purchased at one of the local department stores a few decades earlier), and it was now at my desk.  I’d made little marks on the dial where my favorite stations were.  I’d fallen in love with rock radio.

Was it different from the sort-of-occasional listenings of records from our family collection, or the albums we’d take out from the library, or whatever was playing on the car stereo during family roadtrips?  In a way, yes.  Even then I’d gotten into the habit of listening to certain radio stations, but not to such an obsessive extent.  I’d gone from ‘now and again’ to ‘every single morning’ to ‘pretty much all day long’.  Other boys my ages were probably watching sports or playing outside or whatever it was we supposed to do, but I was perfectly happy sitting right next to the radio and enjoying each new song that came on.

The obsession with countdowns started around this time.  That was the fault of one of my older sisters who’d taped various songs off the radio at the turn of the decade, and had recorded part of the year-end countdown on the rock station we all enjoyed, WAQY 102.1 out of East Longmeadow.  A year or so later the torch was passed to me (well, more like I snagged it as she headed off to college).  WAQY had a contest in which, if you sent in the correct countdown list, they’d pick a random winner and give away every album that was on it.  Who was I to turn that down?  With an insane amount of focus and intent for a preteen, I wrote each artist, song on lined paper and duly mailed it in.  Never won, of coure, but that didn’t stop me from listening with rapt attention.

Thinking back, that’s probably what fueled my music obsession the most — between the countdowns and MTV, as well as radio in particular, I was glued to my desk or the living room couch, wondering what song or video would come next.

That went on for most of that decade, really.  From about 1981 or so onwards, I would always have a radio on, or I’d watch a good hour or so of MTV, just soaking everything in.  I really wasn’t too choosy about what songs came up, as long as they caught my interest.  That was partly due to listening to whatever my sisters were listening to in the 70s.  I could take Chicago’s easy-listening comeback albums the grandiose prog rock of Rush, and the guitar jangle of early REM.  A lot of the rock stations back then were more adventurous in their playlist, mixing past and present genres without a second thought.  Within the span of an hour I could hear the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits, Van Halen, and maybe even an Ozzy or an AC/DC track.  In the early days of FM radio, there was always some element of free-form.

I was given a massive playlist to choose from, and I devoured pretty much all of it.

Walk in Silence: The Blog Series starts tomorrow!

Yes, after all these years of talking about it, doing all kinds of reading and note-taking and excavating my memory banks, I’m finally going to make this a thing!  Over the weekend I started making the posts, and will schedule them to drop on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  Woo!

I’ve even made it a point to be a few posts ahead and want to keep it that way, so I’ll have a backlog.  This is a project I’ve had in my head for a good few years now, so I want to do it justice.

Hope you enjoy it!

The Persistence of Memories is NOW AVAILABLE!

We interrupt our usual obsessive music blog entries with some important news:

tpom 032316 take 2
The Persistence of Memories
is now available!!

Here are some fine online establishments where you can purchase the ebook:


Barnes & Noble



Don’t forget to support your local bookstore! If they sell e-books, go ahead and download from their website! Here are a few of my favorite local bookstores where you can buy it:

Copperfield’s Books

Green Apple Books

Books Inc


Thank you for your support! 🙂



A DIVISION OF SOULS is also STILL FREE! Want to get caught up first before jumping in? Head over to B&N, Kobo or Smashwords (or hey, even NoiseTrade) and download the first book, and your reading list is good to go!

The taste of youth, the taste of you, dear

Okay, I’m finally going to take the plunge.

Next week will be the first of many entries for the Walk in Silence blog series…and of course, I’ll be letting you know all about that over the next week and a half.

But that’s not the plunge I’m talking about.

When I was first planning out the WiS project, I always had the timeframe in the back of my mind: should I focus just on my own personal connection with college radio (1986-1989)?  Should I talk about its history (197? – 199?)?  Or should I just come up with an arbitrary time?  Eventually I chose the third entry, that way I could focus mostly on my own personal history, but also include the time before I connected with the genre, thus 1984 – 1989.

The plunge I’m thinking of now is the college and post-college years.  They weren’t exactly the happiest years of my life, for various reasons, but they were interesting musically.  College rock, at least with American radio, gave way to grunge and Britpop as it became more popular, and changed genre names numerous times before deciding on the all-encompassing ‘alternative rock’.  A schism grew: those who felt alternative rock was selling out and followed the most obscure bands possible, and those who really didn’t mind either way, as long as the prefabricated crap currently in the charts went away.

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a sequel to Walk in Silence for quite some time.  There’s no name to it yet, nor is there any concrete schedule or plan for it at this time (all my focus is currently on posting WiS and publishing the Bridgetown trilogy), but I do have a few ideas floating around…it’ll focus mostly on the years from late 1989 (when I left for college) to late 1995 (when I left Boston and moved back home).  And it will most likely continue the WiS theme of both personal story and music history.

Some albums from that era still get heavy airplay on the radio: you’ll still hear tracks from Nevermind and Blood Sugar Sex Magik and Loveless and Definitely Maybe and Achtung Baby and Violator and so on.  But there are so many more albums I’ve ignored for one reason or another, forgotten about or couldn’t make myself listen to for personal reasons.  Songs that radio let pass into history, even forgetting to play them on Throwback Thursday.  But as with Walk in Silence and the 80s, it’s been nigh on twenty-plus years for most of these.  It’s well past time to revisit them again.

So starting today I’m going to start listening to some of these albums in my collection, give them a once-over they haven’t had in quite some time, and see where I can go with it.

Should be an interesting ride, to say the least.